In the first installment of this series, I described the beginnings of my long and complicated relationship with nudity. Entering high school, my love/hate relationship with nudity became more complicated . . .

I grew fascinated by the thought of naked men and being naked with them but also terrified at the same time.

My parents actually encouraged me not to fear nakedness in the locker room. They half-jokingly told me how they’d had to shower in high school after gym class, and that while embarrassing at first, you get used to it.This didn’t calm my nerves, though: being naked in front of my classmates.

This didn’t calm my nerves, though: being naked in front of my classmates.

My worries were ultimately for naught, as I’d find out we were never made to shower at my middle and high school. School showering had basically gone extinct.

Around the age of thirteen, my parents got the family fast internet. One can assume how this would end for a budding thirteen-year-old, getting fast internet for the first time.

One day out of curiosity, I googled the phrase “naked men,” and I got more than I bargained for. I came across some of the most rancid gay porn, mostly oral sex. I never knew oral sex was even a thing; horrified by what I saw, I nearly puked.

I learned to navigate my way around the porn for more simple images of naked men. Unfortunately, my parents noticed my Google search history, and I got in trouble.

I managed to lie my way out of the situation, saying I was simply curious what the male body looks like after puberty. My parents bought it, but their firm warning never to do it again didn’t ground me any less.

I did it again. And again. And again.

When I saw these men, many abstract thoughts and feelings ran through my head. Thoughts like:

Wow, he’s letting the whole world see him!

Wow, he also has a penis and it looks kind of like mine!

Wow, he’s being totally vulnerable; I want to be like that or be vulnerable with him!

Ultimately, these feelings led to arousal and eventually masturbation.

I’d find another way to get my jollies and entertain my fascination with nudity while avoiding porn: nudist sites.

I found thousands of videos and pictures of naked men with no erotic or pornographic subtext, all doing activities “normal” clothed people would do: playing tennis, swimming, running triathlons, partying, watching movies, etc. Just about anything clothed people would do but with considerably more bouncing and jiggling! There were even news-type shows where naked interviewers interviewed other nudists about how much freedom they’d found in the lifestyle.

I even found Christian nudists talking about how non-sexual nudity was like going back to the Garden of Eden, celebrating God’s design of our bodies. I was hooked, and I wanted to be like that.

I wanted guys I could interact naked with, minus any erotic subtext or activities … while still getting my jollies on the side.

But what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them, right?

I didn’t have any close friends, but I wanted a taste of this vulnerability. Even if it was on my own.

What better place to try out nudism than at the local park? A densely forested park with dirt trails looked perfect. When I arrived, I checked the parking lots to make sure I was clear. Then I entered the park, stripped down, and walked long stretches of the trails in nothing but my tennis shoes.

It was quite an adrenaline rush. Being naked outdoors is quite different than being naked in your own bathroom.

I wish I could say I only got naked to feel total freedom — and while that was partly the case, I still got a strong sexual thrill out of it. One could say I was an exhibitionist, but I wanted to do this privately without any hikers seeing me.

Needless to say, getting naked outdoors was very risky; thankfully, I was never caught. I was addicted, though, and I couldn’t stop myself from going back to that park time and again.

Why was I doing this? I was in high school and had no friends, never any close friends growing up. This bizarre calling often feels birthed from a deep need.

I wanted other men to see me and know every part of me. To see that I have a penis which shows that I’m a man. To see every part and imperfection and not be judged and still be loved.

I want God to see every part of me and love me, too.

I’d always enjoyed those old-fashioned images of boy friendships: skinny dipping at the old swimmin’ hole, goofing off in the showers after gym class, or maybe even going streaking on a dare. I’d longed for friends and brothers to join on such activities, but I’d never had it.

My nudist desires have never been entirely sexual. I’ve long known that it comes from a deep desire for intimacy. To be known fully as a man by other men.

Despite my butt-naked exploits on the trail, I was not done with the nudist world.

And it was not done with me.

To be continued . . .

Have you ever felt fixated or addicted by nudity or nudist culture? Or does nudity among other men not appeal to you?

* Photo courtesy tir_na_nog, Creative Commons.

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